The ZIMBABWE Situation Our thoughts and prayers are with Zimbabwe
- may peace, truth and justice prevail.

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Roy Bennett Update

Roy Bennett Update: January 9th 2005

Heather has seen Roy several times recently. Whatever Prison they put Roy in
he immediately becomes a problem as the prisoners treat him as a hero and
help him as much as possible. The petitions are coming in and we meet
shortly to decide what to do next. Keep the pressure up - contact your local
MP - even here in Zimbabwe, all politicians are suceptable to pressure from
the public. Write to your local media and use the stuff we send out to you.
Keeping Roy in the limelight may keep him alive.

MDC may be able to retain Roy as a candidiate in Chimanimani - he would win
I am sure and that would be one for the books! His team in Chimanimani are
very despondent - they need money and local support, if you are up there -
go and see them. Try to help with the transport problems if you live in
Harare. Dave Coltart went to try and see Roy but was refused permission.

Heather and the kids are fine - just struggling with the pressure and the
emotional situation.

Eddie Cross


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Business Report

      Zimbabwean dollar reaches new low
      January 12, 2005

      The Zimbabwean dollar fell to its lowest level against the US dollar
at a Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe auction on Monday as the bank accepted
higher-priced bids for foreign currency, pushing up the average cost of
foreign exchange for Zimbabwean buyers.

      The Zimbabwean dollar fell 0.3 percent to Z$5 766.41 per US dollar at
yesterday's auction as the central bank sold $11 million, the same amount it
sold on January 6.

      Bids were accepted in a range of between Z$5 770.54 and Z$5 765.49,
compared with a range of Z$5 750.99 to Z$5 747.01 at the previous auction.
Bids outside the range were rejected.

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Business Day

Cosatu set on new Zimbabwe mission


THE Congress of South African Trade Unions (Cosatu) said yesterday that it
was determined to push ahead with a new factfinding trip to Zimbabwe.

The labour federation has been a vociferous critic of human rights abuses by
President Robert Mugabe's government.

Last year its fact-finding team was chased out of Zimbabwe by government

Cosatu's actions also drew a rebuke from its alliance partner, the African
National Congress (ANC), which accused it of political grandstanding and of
not consult ing its partners.

Cosatu spokesman Paul Notyawa said yesterday that Cosatu was waiting for a
response from the Zimbabwean government to a letter requesting that its
fact-finding team be permitted to visit the country. The letter was sent in
early December.

Notyawa said if permission was granted, the new delegation would be led by
Cosatu general secretary Zwelinzima Vavi and president Willie Madisha.

He said the Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions supported the mission and had
committed itself to pushing Mugabe's government to allow the visit.

This time Cosatu has the blessing of the ANC.

"The ANC knows that we are planning another mission to Zimbabwe, but they
have asked us to comply with that country's laws and not do anything that
would show contempt."

He said the tripartite alliance partners Cosatu, the ANC and the South
African Communist Party had ironed out their differences on a range of
issues, including the alliance's position on Zimbabwe.

Notyawa said that Cosatu had written a number of letters concerning a visit
to different stakeholders including the Zimbabwean government .

"We have clarified our position on what we will be doing in Zimbabwe and the
kind of questions we will be asking ," Notyawa said.

He said that the union was disturbed about allegations of human rights
abuses by the Mugabe regime, and specifically the harassment of trade unions
and workers.

"For Cosatu, workers' rights are human rights," he said .

Asked what would happen if Mugabe's government refused Cosatu entrance to
the country, Notyawa said Cosatu's leadership would make its position known
if and when that occurred.

"We will not fold our arms and pretend nothing has happened."

Cosatu held a picket outside the Zimbabwe High Commission in Arcadia,
Pretoria, last month to protest against the suppression of unions in the
Jan 12 2005 07:51:10:000AM Sphiwe Mboyane Business Day 1st Edition

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Business Day

Mugabe faces down protest as divisions hit ruling Zanu (PF)


Harare Correspondent
ZIMBABWEAN President Robert Mugabe is pulling out all the stops to quell the
damaging wrangling gripping his Zanu (PF) ruling party over hotly disputed
internal primary elections.

After his rushed return home from holidays in the Far East at the weekend to
confront the problem head-on, Mugabe has been holding a series of emergency
meetings in a bid to deal with the explosive situation.

The state-run Herald newspaper reported yesterday that hundreds of
protesters, some carrying placards, gathered outside Zanu (PF) headquarters
on Monday to demand changes in selection procedures they said "imposed"
candidates on some party districts.

The ruling party has been rocked by infighting and demonstrations over the
selection of candidates to contest primary elections due on Saturday.

Analysts said Zanu (PF) faced its deepest split since Mugabe led the country
to independence from Britain in 1980. The conflict pitting "young Turks"
against party veterans erupted in December with a power struggle over the
appointment of Joyce Mujuru as the country's first woman vice-president.

"President, the party has been ripped apart," one of the placards read, and
another: "Let people exercise their rights."

The weekend polls are meant to select candidates to represent Zanu (PF) in
the general election in March.

Reacting to the placards that said the party had been "ripped apart", Mugabe
put on a brave face and adopted a posture of denial.

"The party is not dead, it is standing strong," Mugabe said in his address
to the demonstrators.

"Are you aware that such things please the MDC (Movement for Democratic
Change)? This is democracy in Zanu (PF). Please don't worry, we have heard
your complaints."

In an attempt to head off the protests, Mugabe said the process of compiling
a list of candidates was not yet complete.

He ordered his party to compile a new list that would be submitted to the
Zanu (PF) presidium for vetting before being tabled at the party's
decision-making politburo for approval.

However, Mugabe said officials on suspension and those facing disciplinary
measures would be disqualified. He also said "mafikizolos" (newcomers) who
splashed money like confetti to buy votes would be barred from the

Mugabe held further meetings on the issue yesterday after Monday's
discussions at Zanu (PF) headquarters in Harare to resolve the problem and
stop demonstrations.

The feuding has been sparked by the elimination of senior Zanu (PF)
officials, including Information Minister Jonathan Moyo, from Saturday's
primary elections . A number of senior officials were barred from contesting
the primaries for reasons ranging from the need to accommodate women
candidates to a lack of discipline.

Moyo and officials such as jailed Finance Minister Chris Kuruneri,
imprisoned provincial chairman Phillip Chiyangwa, Tony Gara and Kindness
Paradza have been barred from the polls. Paradza is standing in the Makonde
constituency against Mugabe's nephew Leo.

Apart from Leo, two other members of the Mugabe's family, his sister Sabina
and her son Patrick, are also vying for seats. With Sapa-AFP-AP
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Dan Simpson: Africa -- out of sight, out of mind
Here's hoping that my students can handle the truth about the continent -- 
and our nation's policies
Wednesday, January 12, 2005

Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

Every spring I teach a seminar on U.S. policy in Africa as an adjunct
professor at the University of Pittsburgh's Graduate School of Public and
International Affairs. Every spring before plunging into the course, I go
through the tortures of the damned about what I am going to tell my students
about Africa, where I lived for 20 years.

            Dan Simpson, a retired U.S. ambassador, is a Post-Gazette
associate editor (

Given my love of Africa and long involvement in U.S. policy toward it,
deciding what to say is sometimes like being forced to tell one's children,
in the name of truth, that their grandfathers were both wife-beaters.

Since independence, African leaders at many levels have for the most part
beaten the pulp out of the people of their countries. There are exceptions,
on the individual level and in some of the nations concerned, but the record
by and large is pretty awful.

Just as bad -- if not worse, because the United States might be expected to
know better, given its own history, experience and vaunted principles -- 
U.S. policy toward Africa across the years has also been generally terrible,
ranging from the cynicism of the Cold War to the general, facile
indifference of the time since.

We will give ourselves a bye on the colonial period that pre-dated World War
II: The United States was not a colonial power in Africa, and, in an
unthinking way, America in that period looked at "African policy" as a not
very important part of overall U.S. policy toward the European colonial
powers, Great Britain, France, Portugal, Spain and Belgium. South Africa was
considered too far away and too complicated to merit a U.S. policy; in the
Department of State, for many years it was dealt with as part of the Bureau
of European Affairs.

President Franklin D. Roosevelt kicked us off on the right track with
respect to Africa in the Atlantic Charter of 1941, which talked about
people's right to self-determination, a clear anti-colonial message. British
Prime Minister Winston Churchill bought it only because he badly needed
American military aid in fighting off the Germans in Europe; the old fox
probably had his fingers crossed behind his back when he agreed to the

War-weakened European powers began handing over independence to African
countries in 1957, starting with Ghana. By that time we were in the middle
of the Cold War and African nations were in the happy or unhappy position of
being courted by both sides. That meant aid. It also meant a very
nonjudgmental attitude about how African leaders governed their peoples,
including what they did with the aid. That was catastrophic in terms of
wasted and stolen resources, but also in terms of burning out donors'
willingness to give and belief in the efficacy of aid to African countries.

Came the end of the Cold War in 1990 and U.S. policy shifted to lots of
advice, but little real help. Democracy and a liberal economy were supposed
to be the pathways to salvation. The first was hard to achieve, particularly
given the dilapidated state of the social infrastructure of the African
countries. So was the second. Some economic cleanup occurred, but U.S. and
other foreign investors did not flock to Africa, unless there was oil to be
found. And once again there was little or no concern about what happened to
the oil revenues that African countries received. A country like Angola,
rich with oil wealth, is also one of the poorest in terms of social

Some people would say that one of the bad aspects of Africa is that it is
divided into some 54 countries, almost guaranteeing a lack of economic
viability. The good part of the large number of countries is that at any
given time one or more may be the source of good news, some development that
puts the lie to a picture of otherwise unmitigated gloom. Most reporting
from Africa deals with the unending war in the Congo, the aging despot
president of Zimbabwe, Robert Mugabe, or the unfettered greed of a president
Jose Eduardo Dos Santos of Angola or Teodoro Obiang Nguema of Equatorial

Here is some of the current good news from Africa. The Muslim north and the
Christian south of Sudan signed an agreement Sunday in Nairobi, Kenya,
that -- with a lot of help from friends of Sudan, hopefully including the
United States -- can bring an end to a civil war that has gone on since 1983
(and some would argue, since 1956). Secretary of State Colin Powell was
there for the United States. Nine African presidents were in attendance. The
accord has taken so long to negotiate and is so complicated that it might
actually work.

Some 15 African countries had reasonably democratic, violence-free elections
in 2004. One of these was Mozambique, torn apart by East-West-based,
neighbor-supported war from 1975 to 1992. Another was in Namibia, former
German South West Africa, wrested from South African grip in 1990 with
American elbow grease involved.

On a smaller scale, a long-simmering rebellion in the Casamance region of
Senegal ended Dec. 30 with the signature of an agreement between Senegalese
President Abdoulaye Wade and the rebel leader, a 77-year-old priest named
Augustin Diamacoune Senghor. That conflict had cost an estimated 3,500 lives
over 22 years.

These stories, and the efforts of Africa to pull itself up by its bootstraps
through organizations such as the new African Union and the New Partnership
for Africa's Development, are what keep me hanging on. Of the two
grandfathers, I think there is more hope for Africa itself than there are
prospects of a more helpful U.S. Africa policy. I suspect the Africans know
that too.

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Independent Journalists Removed From Remand
      Published in: Legalbrief Africa
      Date: Tue 11 January 2005
      Category: Zimbabwe
      Issue No: 113

      Vincent Kahiya, Dumisani Muleya, Iden Wetherell and Itai Dzamara, the
four independent journalists who were facing charges of criminal defamation,
were on 10 January removed from remand after the State failed to come up
with a trial date.

      The four journalists who work for the privately-owned Zimbabwe
Independent had been on remand for almost a year on charges of criminally
defaming President Robert Mugabe.

      The charges arise from the weekly paper's edition of 9 January 2004
which claimed that President Mugabe had commandeered an Air Zimbabwe
aircraft to the Far East.

      The story claimed that President Mugabe commandeered an Air Zimbabwe
plane to Indonesia and Singapore while he was on leave in January 2004. The
State alleges that the story was defamatory to the President, government and
the community.

      However, Magistrate Crema Chipere on 10 January this year, exactly a
year after the story in question was published, declined to further remand
the journalists after the State failed to set their trial date.

      The magistrate said the State could still proceed by way of summons.

      Kahiya, Wetherell, Muleya and Dzamara are the Zimbabwe Independent's
editor, special projects editor, news editor and reporter respectively.

      Press release issued by MISA-Zimbabwe
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New Zimbabwe

One man's battle to wrest power from Mugabe

By Austin Kaluba
Last updated: 01/12/2005 12:59:09
TRADE unionism has been a spring board to jump into the world of politics.
Examples include names like Lech Walesa of Poland, the former head of state
Frederick Chiluba and many early Zambian politicians who started their
political careers in welfare societies.

Despite this legacy, Morgan Tsvangirai , the leader of the Movement for
Democratic Change MDC who is in the country despite enjoying wide popularity
in his country seems to be facing several hurdles in his long walk to plot
one because of President Robert Mugabe's maverick yet enviable governance.

Mugabe has shown the world that he is among the remnants of African leaders
who can tell off Western leaders who were trying to meddle in African
affairs with their arrogance and know-it-all stance.

Tsvangirai who has been labelled a puppet and an Uncle Tom seems to be
finding problems to match Uncle Bob who does not mince his words regardless
of who crosses his path, be it American President George Bush, whom he has
accused of playing God or British Prime Minister Tony Blair who Mugabe calls
a crony labelled him Bush's prophet.

However, the wind of change seems to be blowing in the land of the great
Zimbabwe ruins with some people calling for change in a country that is now
fraught with economic woes largely brought about by economic sanctions and
the mass dismissal of white farmers in the infamous land reforms.

Many white farmers whose land has been grabbed owned the country's best land
like was the case in Uganda where many Asians controlled Uganda's economy
during Idi Amin's dictactorial rule.

According to the MMD national secretary Vernon Mwaanga, Tsvangirai is
visiting the country with a four-man MDC delegation after the Zambian
Government accepted his party's request to come to Zambia for consultative
talks tomorrow.

"The MMD looks forward to having fruitful discussion particularly that it's
them that have requested to meet the ruling party here. Zimbabwe is an
important neighbour in many aspects so it would be imperative and
interesting to know what was happening in that country," he said.

Tsvangirai would meet President Levy Mwanawasa at State House tomorrow.
Because of the sour relationship between Zimbabwe and Zambia in the Second
Republic and the Chiluba-run MMD, the New Deal Government has informed the
Zimbabwean authorities and its ambassador in Zambia about Tsvangirai's

The MDC would be visiting several other SADC countries on various issues in
preparation for the parliamentary elections in March that would see two
rivals Mugabe and Tsvangirai battle it at the polls to determine who would
rule the country.

Last year, the MMD and UNIP sent a team each to attend ZANU-PF congress
attended by 11, 000 delegates.

"We'll do the listening and less talking but we will issue a Press statement
possibly after our meetings with the MDC," Mwaanga said.

Tsvangirai is the top contender to the Zimbabwean presidency and the
arc-rival of Mugabe who has been at the helm of the country's politics since

He is a tough-tested leader who is focused and unshaken by harassment from
the authorities.

Who is Morgan Tsvangirai? Because of his strident condemnation of Mugabe's
land grabbing policy, the Western Press especially the British media has
over-praised Tsvangirai hailing him as a self-made person, a solid
administrator, competent thinker, charismatic leader, democratic team player
and above all, a compassionate family man.

      "Tsvangirai is seen as representing a younger generation of
Zimbabweans, particularly urban workers, who are less interested in Mugabe's
historical role as Zimbabwe's founding father"
"He has an unshakable appreciation of the key challenges facing Zimbabwe as
a country and Zimbabweans as a people.

Tsvangirai is a product of important social movements in this country, which
include the labour and constitutional reform movements," said the BBC in
article on Tsvangirai.

Whether the Movement for Democratic Change MDC leader is all these is
debatable. But what is true is that Tsvangirai has been a leader to reckon
with for sometime.

He is the former secretary general of the powerful Zimbabwe Congress of
Trade Unions (ZCTU) and is the founding chairperson of the National
Constitutional Assembly, a group that advocates a new constitution for

Like Chiluba who ran the Zambia Congress of Trade Union for 17 years while
Kaunda remained at the helm of UNIP and the Government condemning the one
party system for the suffering of workers, Tsvangirai has been a thorn in
the flesh of Mugabe's ZANU-PF.

Tsvangirai is a graduate of Harvard University's John F. Kennedy School of
Government, where he attained a diploma from the school's Executive Leaders
In Development Programme, in June 2001.

Apart from this academic attainment, Tsvangirai like Chiluba can be
described as a leader with humble education but very vast knowledge of what
affects his society and a born leader who is keen to learn new things.

Tsvangirai who is the first born son in a family of nine was born in 1952 in
Buhera in Gutu Masvingo and attended Munyira primary school and then
Silveira and Gokomere high schools.

His father was a bricklayer who had to struggle to put food on the table for
the large family. This forced young Morgan to leave school after GCE
O-Levels to help support his family being the first born.

At 20, he was working at Mutare Clothing as a textile weaver where he had
his first taste of trade unionism as a member of the local textile union.

Two years later he joined the Trojan Nickel Mine in Bindura. He spent 10
years at the mine, rising from plant operator to general foreman.

His working in the clothing factory can somehow be compared to Chiluba's
stint in Tanzania where he worked in a sisal firm before trekking back home
to Zambia to start unionism - offering the Kaunda regime challenge that has
not been matched up to now.

Tsvangirai became branch chairman of the Associated Mine Workers Union and
was later elected into the executive of the National Mine Workers Union
before becoming secretary general of the ZCTU in 1988.

Tsvangirai has also held several high-ranking positions in many regional
labour movements. He has been a guest speaker at various faculties of
various universities on the continent and beyond.

He has also been a guest speaker and presenter at various conferences
including at the World Trade Forum, trade union related forums, and both
non-governmental and government organised seminars.

Like Chiluba, he is an eloquent speaker who can sway a crowd with his
oratory skills. He is also a multi-talented person and displays an amazing
amount of energy, which drives his hard work.

From the time Tsvangirai who led the ZCTU away from its alliance with the
ruling ZANU-PF souring the union's relationship with the Government up to
1989 when he was imprisoned for six weeks on charges of being a South
African spy, his experience can still be compared to Chiluba's who was also
imprisoned by the Kaunda government.

In the late 1980s, Tsvangirai used the ZCTU which had been set at Zimbabwe's
independence as a springboard for his political career a decade later.

In December 1997 and early 1998, Tsvangirai led a series of strikes -
so-called "stay-aways" - against tax increases which brought the country to
a standstill.

These forced the government of President Mugabe to cancel two tax increases
and, as it turned out, also to abandon a promised tax to help fund war
veterans' pensions.

This was an ironic foreshadowing of the political confrontation between the
veterans and Tsvangirai's supporters over the issue of farm occupations.

He has also been a victim of premeditated and government inspired harassment
and violence. There have been three assassination attempts on his life,
which include the 1997 attempt, where unknown assailants burst into his
office and tried to throw him out of a tenth story window.

Tsvangirai, has been married to his wife Susan since 1978. They have six
children. Their eldest son is 22-years-old and the youngest are twins who
are eight-years of age.

When not in the office or out meeting people, Tsvangirai likes to read and
spend time with his family.

His political career is enviable despite hurdles from Mugabe's ZANU-PF
machination. In the June 2000 general election his young party, the Movement
for Democratic Change (MDC), despite being a new party gave leaders in the
ruling ZANU-PF a run for their money.

The MDC gained 57 of the constituency-based seats, against 62 held by
ZANU-PF - a result without precedent in Zimbabwe, where opposition parties
had never held more than a handful of seats.

Tsvangirai himself was not elected. Turning down the opportunity of a seat
in one of the cities, where the MDC's support is strongest, the MDC leader
chose instead to stand in his home district - which, like most rural
constituencies, was won by ZANU-PF.

By helping to inflict a dramatic defeat on the government over its
constitutional reform bill the previous February, Tsvangirai won an aura of
credibility which was enhanced by the general election result.

Since the formation of the MDC in 1999, the new party had made great
headways politically. It defeated the government over its referendum on
constitutional reform, which included clauses allowing the seizure of
white-owned farms without compensation.

It was the most dramatic political setback for President Mugabe since
independence. But even this was eclipsed by the MDC's election showing.

Tsvangirai is seen as representing a younger generation of Zimbabweans,
particularly urban workers, who are less interested in Mugabe's historical
role as Zimbabwe's founding father than what they see as his recent record
of economic mismanagement.

Zimbabwe's economy has continued performing poorly, a situation Tsvangirai's
MDC is harping on by promising citizens that things would improve when the
party takes over the ruling ZANU-PF.

However, some Zimbabweans still consider Mugabe to be a hero by removing the
government of Ian Douglas Smith and by grabbing land from whites in what
could have been another Chimurenga-revolution.

Only time will tell if Morgan Tsvangirai will be Zimbabwe's next president.
This article was originally published by the Times of Zambia

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Temba Mliswa: Coach, Con-Man

By Foster Niumata

When Temba Mliswa came to Rugby’s offices 10 years ago, he seemed to be the answer to many prayers.

He was a rugby coach.

He was 22, intelligent, ambitious and had a broad knowledge of rugby. He talked of wanting to learn as much about rugby as possible so he could go home to Zimbabwe and help the growing black rugby population, which he said was ill served by the white-dominated Zimbabwe Rugby Union. It was politically correct talk, and Temba’s enthusiasm and Zimbabwe’s dismal rugby record made him a person one would be eager to help.

Prior to coming to the US, Mliswa had talked his way into an invitation to England, where he set up his coaching credentials. He subsequently received a free three-month rugby education in New Zealand, and then accepted an invitation to come to the United States to pass on his wisdom.

Here in the US, as in the United Kingdom, his coaching was helpful and appreciated.

But too late, it was discovered that his rugby skills were wrapped in a web of deception and immaturity, spun out of a shyster mind on a forked tongue.

And after he suddenly disappeared from the United States, leaving a trail of debts with those he had become involved, including RugbyMagazine, the publication kept a distant eye on his life of deceit.

Mliswa’s story is a cautionary tale of trust and betrayal in which rugby was one of the losers.

According to Mliswa, he was lucky to attend a mixed-race junior school in Harare, Zimbabwe, where he learned to play rugby. Temba said he began playing at eight, captained his high school, and ultimately earned Zimbabwe Under-21 honors.

When renowned English public school Harrow toured Zimbabwe, Mliswa met its coach, former British Lion and England Grand Slam coach Roger Uttley. Uttley invited Mliswa to England during the 1991 World Cup to become a qualified coach.

Mliswa passed the English coaching tests, and Uttley used his influence to secure Mliswa coaching stints with Harrow, Eton and London Wasps Under-18s – names that stand out on any resume.

For more practical experience, Mliswa found work at Middlesex Division III club Feltham and English South West Division II side Marlow. There he was contacted by another acquaintance, Ed Burrell of New York’s White Plains RFC, which had toured Zimbabwe. Burrell informed Mliswa there was a coaching job available at the all-Japanese Keio Academy in Purchase, NY. Mliswa accepted, but first went to New Zealand as a guest of the NZRFU for a three-month crash course in coaching.

Mliswa started coaching at Keio in August of 1993, and parlayed his experience and press clippings from English rugby magazines and small-town newspapers into simultaneous coaching roles at Manhattanville College and the Village Lions RFC in New York.

Mliswa then came to RugbyMagazine, armed with a resume that glowed with famous names and press clippings. Impressed by his clippings and the fact that young Mliswa was simultaneously coaching three different New York clubs, this magazine ran a full-page story on the Harare charmer in March 1994 under the headline "Born to Coach," which unwittingly contributed to his scam plans.

Mliswa did and said the right things. On the disappointing support for US high school and college programs, he said, "I only wish there could be 100 Tembas to help out. It’s a pity I can’t be in 100 places at one time."

His ambition, however, outran his mouth and wallet in August 1994, when he took a select squad of 11-to-14-year-olds from New York to the AAU Junior Olympics at Satellite Beach, Florida. He mistakenly believed the tournament would provide a sponsor. Then he vainly thought he could find a sponsor, and finally ended up borrowing money from parents and friends.

Temba’s team finished fifth or sixth in its six-team division and while Mliswa was credited as a good coach, he was slammed as an irresponsible tour leader, who wasn’t worthy of parents’ trust. Managers of other tournament teams said Mliswa told the kids not to listen to their parents, and allowed them out unsupervised until 3 am. One coach described Mliswa as "a snake oil salesman" and another said he was a "smash-and-grab artist" out to "add something to his resume."

Mliswa failed to pay for his squad’s jerseys, and unable or unwilling to pay his $1,100+ hotel bill - including a $300 charge for damages - persuaded former Rugby editor Andy Koepfler to cover his hotel bill with a credit card. The payback check to Koepfler bounced, as did Mliswa.

In a huge financial hole, Mliswa suddenly quit Keio, one step ahead of bill collectors and angry alumni, and he also left Manhattanville with debts of $2,800.

He returned home to Zimbabwe and like most con artists, found other avenues to exploit.

He became a fitness trainer for the national soccer team, then a member of the national soccer association’s technical committee, which was dissolved, and a director of development and coaching at the Zimbabwe Rugby Union. Worst of all, he joined the ruling Zanu-PF party and became one of the most outspoken supporters of corrupt President Robert Mugabe.

Back in London in 2001, Mliswa ran a recruitment agency, Education UK Ltd that promised placement for Zimbabweans anxious to enter the United Kingdom for a registration fee of 100 pounds. The company purportedly specialized in the recruitment of students, teachers and nurses but at least nine of Mliswa’s clients were deported back to Zimbabwe in February of 2001 alone; and none of them received a refund. Mliswa finally ran afoul of British immigration officials, who closed down his con and kicked him out of Britain in 2002.

Before he was forced home, he formed a pressure group in Zimbabwe called Pioneers of Black Cricket, which aimed to increase black representation in the national cricket team.

After Mugabe decided in 1999 that whites had to give up their farms and land to impoverished blacks, Mliswa finally joined the land grab. In January of 2003, he led a gang takeover of a farm owned by Alan and Jenny Parsons, assaulting Jenny and threatening to kill the family if it returned. The Parsons family remained displaced even when they later returned with police.

When the Parsons visited their property with police three months later to take stock of inventory, they were attacked by Mliswa and his gang, one of whom pulled the trigger of an unloaded rifle against the head of Alan Parsons.

He ran unsuccessfully for chairman of the Zimbabwe Football Association, and earlier this year, a plan by a new Mliswa company to open a soccer academy in Zimbabwe was scuttled. The chief Belgian investor withdrew because Mliswa failed to provide a budget for the proposal and was too busy "farming."

In September of this year, some semblance of retribution fell on Mliswa. He was allegedly manhandled and had his car damaged by a group of men in the town of Karoi and he later vacated what was now considered his farm "following threats by some unknown people". Following his departure, newspapers reported "massive theft of farm equipment" from Mliswa’s Spring Farm in Karoi.

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Daily News online edition

            Zanu PF ditches Seke MP

            Date: 12-Jan, 2005

            MARONDERA - The Zanu PF Mashonaland East Provincial Council has
ditched Seke Member of Parliament, Phineas Chihota, and reserved his
constituency for a woman candidate in the forthcoming parliamentary
elections set for March, as punishment for his alleged participation in the
ill-fated Tsholotsho meeting.

            Chihota, the second senior party official in the province to be
accused of participating in the Tsholotsho meeting, had been a Member of
Parliament (MP) for only three months after being elected unopposed in a
by-election held in the constituency after the death of opposition MP, Ben

            The first to suffer was former provincial chairperson for the
women's league and deputy minister for Home Affairs, Mabel Chinomona, who is
also a central committee member of the ruling party.

            She was told not to participate in the selection process of
candidates to represent the party in the forthcoming elections.

            Sources within the party's provincial leadership told The Daily
News Online that Chihota, a businessman of repute, was being punished by the
provincial executive for bankrolling the Tsholotsho meeting.

            It is alleged that the businessman provided food and other
logistical support for those who went to the controversial meeting.

            "Chihota is a victim of his own making. He should have seen that
the wind was not blowing in the direction of Emmerson Mnangagwa. Instead he
decided to clandestinely abuse his companies by providing food for the
delegates at the Tsholotsho meeting," said one senior party official who is
a member of the provincial council.

            He also said most of the provincial leaders were not happy with
businessmen who came into the party structures for their own personal gain.

            Women in Mashonaland East province have been given four
constituencies to fight each other in the Zanu PF primaries set for this

            Efforts to get a comment from Chihota proved fruitless as he was
said to have gone into his constituency, seeking for support to overturn the
party's decision.

            Seke Constituency was won by the MDC in the 2000 Parliamentary
elections, after Tumbare-Mutasa defeated Chihota with a small margin.
Chihota then appealed to the High Court against his defeat and won,
resulting in Tumbare-Mutasa appealing against the High Court decision.

            Tumbare-Mutasa however died before the case was heard before the
Supreme Court, resulting in the by-election.

            Chihota then easily took over the reins after the opposition,
MDC boycotted the election process, claiming that it would not participate
in the process unless the government implemented new electoral laws to level
the playing field.

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Daily News online edition

      Jailed MP to stand in Chimanimani

      Date: 12-Jan, 2005

      ROY Bennet, jailed for assaulting two Cabinet Ministers in Parliament,
will represent the opposition MDC in the Chimanimani constituency while
still in prison.

      Bennet was sentenced by a parliamentary committee to 10 months' in
prison with hard labour after he assaulted Patrick Chinamasa, the Minister
of Legal and Parliamentary Affairs and Didymus Mutasa, the Anti-Corruption
and Anti-Monopolies Minister during a heated parliamentary session.

      Two months of the sentence were, however, suspended. Bennet is
believed to be serving his sentence at a prison in Mutoko.

      However, Bennet will still be serving his sentence when parliamentary
elections kick off in March. An MDC official said Bennet will represent the
opposition party even when he is still in custody.

      "The people of Chimanimani will prove to the world that Pachedu is
popular," said the MDC official. "They have vowed to vote for him even when
he is in prison."

      Bennet is commonly referred to as Pachedu in Chimanimani. Although
laws in Zimbabwe do not allow any person with a criminal conviction to stand
in a general election, a senior official from the Attorney General's office
recently revealed that Bennet was eligible to contest the March election
because he was not convicted by a criminal court.

      The MDC official, a member of the Manicaland provincial executive said
Bennet's campaign machinery was already being mobilised in preparation for
the crucial March poll.

      His arrest sparked condemnation both at home and abroad as it is
widely seen as part of a wider campaign by the Zanu PF government to harass
the MP.

      Already, the government has destabilised Bennet's extensive farming
operations at Charleswood Estate in Chimanimani. The estate was seized by
the government, in defiance of court rulings barring anybody from
interfering with operations, ostensibly to re-settle landless Zimbabweans.

      MDC supporters yesterday vowed, in separate interviews, to retain
Bennet in the March election.

      "Pachedu has been unfairly treated. It is our duty now to prove Zanu
PF wrong by retaining him," said Tendai Dhliwayo of Ngangu Village.

      Another supporter, Mary Sibanda from Biriri Village said: "We have
already started campaigning for Bennet. Even if he is in prison or not he
will win hands down."

      Bennet is likely to face Zanu PF's Misheck Beta or Munacho Mutezo in
the fight for Chimanimani. Beta and Mutezo are the candidates with the
political stamina to sail through the ruling party primaries to be held at
the weekend.

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Street children trying to survive in "Sunshine city"

[ This report does not necessarily reflect the views of the United Nations]

HARARE, 12 Jan 2005 (IRIN) - Africa Unity Square, near the parliament
building on Nelson Mandela Avenue, is one of the main parks in Harare,
Zimbabwe's capital city. The main entrance is adorned with a billboard
calling on residents to keep the city clean and maintain its reputation as
the "Sunshine City".

A few yards from the dilapidated billboard, six members of a street family -
one of hundreds in the city - are having their lunch. They survive by
begging and scavenging garbage bins for food and anything saleable.

"We have been at this park for the past three years," said Merjury
Mazambani. She used to live in Mhondoro, a rural village 100 km outside the
capital, but in 1997 she lost her husband, father of her three children. "I
had problems with my husband's family after his death and could not get
food, so I decided to move," she said.

A few meters from Mazambani, street children from 11 to 25 years old, who
represent a significant population of Zimbabwe's urban dwellers, are
directing traffic or washing cars.

Shingi Mariot, 14, came to Harare from Rusape, nearly 200 km east of the
capital. "I was living with my stepmother, but she used to beat me up and
deny me food." He left school at grade 6, but wants an education.

In September last year, thousands of street children, including Mariot, were
bundled into a government truck and dumped in Marondera, nearly 100 km
outside Harare. Almost all the children have since found their way back to
the city and are now more vigilant when it comes to dealing with the local
municipal and national police.

"We survive by taking care of cars and getting a little money from their
owners," Mariot said.

The community of street children in Harare is largely made up of boys, some
as young as three years old, and girls up to the age of 11. As they get
older, girls move from the streets to nightspots, such as restaurants,
nightclubs and beer halls. Many girls have turned to prostitution as a means
of survival.

"We are hired for any amounts that start from Zim $20,000 (about US $3) for
a short time, to Zim $150,00 (US $26) if you want our services for a night",
said Sharon, who refused to divulge her last name.

She works at a nightclub on Nelson Mandela Avenue that opens as early as 12
pm, purportedly to cater for school children. Although the club says it does
not sell alcohol to anybody aged below 18, a visit any day of the week would
prove otherwise.

Sharon said some of her friends in the sex trade have become "prosperous"
and are now renting small rooms in the high-density suburbs surrounding the
city centre.

Zimbabwe's unemployment rate is 80 percent. The UN Economic Commission for
Africa said in a report last year that Zimbabwe recorded a Gross Domestic
Product growth rate of -5.5, a product of the country's long-standing
economic crisis.
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Zimbabwe Food Situation Deteriorates Peta Thornycroft
      12-January-2005 1501

A U.S.-sponsored famine alert system is warning of potential malnutrition in
Zimbabwe because of the short supply of the staple food, corn meal.
Meanwhile, early estimates of summer grain crops are gloomy.  The monthly
alert of the Famine Early Warning Systems Network (FEWSNET), calls
Zimbabwe's food situation an emergency.

The Famine Early Warning Systems Network says where food is available it has
become too expensive for most of the population.

It says most rural people have run out of food they stored from last year's
harvest and has identified areas in three provinces where it says nutrition
levels have slumped.

Corn meal increased in price by 50 percent from December 22 to January 12.
But little is available in Harare's supermarkets and in Zimbabwe's
second-largest city, Bulawayo, many people say it has been missing from
supermarkets for two weeks.

According to cereal merchants in South Africa, Zimbabwe's Grain Marketing
Board is buying about 5000 tons of maize a week.  This amounts to about a
quarter of Zimbabwe's needs.

The government of President Robert Mugabe says Zimbabwe needs neither aid
nor imports and does not allow humanitarian agencies such as the U.N. World
Food Program to issue donor appeals.

The U.N. World Food Program has largely dismantled its operation in the
country and is presently distributing its last food supplies to targeted
groups such as children orphaned by the HIV pandemic and the elderly.  Those
supplies will dry up by the end of the month.

Meanwhile, independent agricultural analysts say that the maize crop was
planted too late and the harvest will be light.  Agriculture minister Joseph
Made told VOA that maize continues to be planted and therefore an assessment
of the expected harvest cannot be made yet.

The tobacco crop has failed this year.  Even though it has slipped to less
than a quarter of its size from 2000, tobacco was still Zimbabwe's top
foreign currency earner last year.  Regional agronomist Rusty Markham, who
is employed by an international tobacco company, says this summer's tobacco
yield will be lower than last year's record low of 6 million kilograms.

The central bank, Zimbabwe's electricity authority, and private tobacco
companies financed thousands of new tobacco farmers this season, but
analysts say few have adequate skills or equipment to raise sufficient crops
to even cover their loans.

FEWSNET concluded its latest report by calling for the Zimbabwe government
and the international donor community to find a formula to expand, what it
describes as, the limited working space in which humanitarian agencies are
currently forced to operate.

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Zimbabwean political violence declines: Tsvangirai

January 12, 2005, 19:15

Morgan Tsvangirai, the Zimbabwean opposition leader, said today that
political violence against his movement has declined after it braved a
"bloody" 5-year assault by president Robert Mugabe's supporters.

In what analysts saw as the clearest indication his Movement for Democratic
Change (MDC) would run in parliamentary elections due in March, Tsvangirai
said the MDC remained committed to winning power from Mugabe's ZANU(PF)
"through the ballot-box". The MDC has previously threatened to boycott the
polls if conditions are not fair. Tsvangirai said in a weekly letter to his
supporters they had remained steadfast despite suffering a wave of violence
which had killed hundreds of pro-democracy activists and MDC members since

ZANU(PF) appeared to be abandoning violence as a campaign tool and the
police no longer tolerated "direct, physical violence", he said. "Through
latter-day exhortations to its supporters to display some form of political
civility in the run up to the next election, the (ZANU-PF) regime is, at
least, sending out a positive signal to the people," Tsvangirai said.

The MDC says it will decide in next few weeks whether to contest the
elections, but analysts believe it will participate, persuaded by supporters
who say a boycott would deliver victory to Mugabe on a platter. "The MDC is
now giving all the indications that it is in the race. I don't think the
boycott option was a really viable option," said Heneri Dzinotyiwei of the
University of Zimbabwe.

Tsvangirai said his party would implement a policy of national
reconciliation and try to rebuild national unity if it won power, which
Mugabe (80) and his ZANU-PF have held since independence from Britain in

The MDC accuses ZANU(PF) party of rigging parliamentary elections in 2000
and 2002 presidential polls. Mugabe denies manipulating elections and says a
campaign by Britain and political opponents has sabotaged the economy.
Tsvangirai has been on a campaign to try to win diplomatic help to end
Zimbabwe's political crisis. - Reuters
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Anthrax in Humans Hits Masvingo

The Herald (Harare)

January 12, 2005
Posted to the web January 12, 2005


AN outbreak of anthrax in humans has hit Chivi and Gutu districts in
Masvingo where over 70 cases of the disease have been reported to date amid
fears that two people died of the disease in Chivi.

The anthrax scourge has also claimed a lot of cattle in the two districts
raising suspicion that most of the affected people might have consumed meat
infected with the disease. Anthrax is caused by a bacterial infection from
infected animals especially cattle. The disease can be contracted through
handling; eating or inhaling contaminated meat. The acting Masvingo
Provincial Medical Director, Dr Charles Sandy, yesterday confirmed the
outbreak of the disease saying Chivi had been the hardest hit.

"About 53 cases of anthrax have been reported in humans in Chivi and we have
treated some infected people. We cannot, however, confirm that two people
died from anthrax in Chivi because they were buried before we could verify
that anthrax caused their deaths.

"In Gutu about 20 cases of the disease have been reported to date and we are
intensifying our efforts to contain the disease by carrying out awareness
campaigns in these districts," said Dr Sandy. The major handicap in
containing the anthrax outbreak in humans was the shortage of anthrax
vaccines in the veterinary department for cattle.

"We have enough vaccines to treat people infected by anthrax but the
veterinary department is experiencing an acute shortage of these vaccines
for the inoculation of cattle from where people contract the disease," said
Dr Sandy.

In September last year there was another outbreak of anthrax in Bikita
district's Ngorima, Mutikizizi and Devure 1 areas.

Anthrax was also reported in Gutu and Chivi districts where it killed a lot
of cattle.

The shortage of anthrax vaccines - most of which are imported - in the
veterinary department has resulted in the deaths of many cattle in Masvingo
stifling the province's efforts to replenish its beef herd decimated by
drought more than a decade ago. The Department of Veterinary Services
yesterday said that they were currently facing a shortage of Anthrax

"We are not getting enough foreign currency to procure anthrax vaccines as a
result, we haven't been able to import adequate supplies of the drugs said
Dr Welbourne Madzima.
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Zimbabwe's Mugabe, Tsvangirai abroad

January 12, 2005, 12:00

Robert Mugabe, the president of Zimbabwe, has jetted into Tanzania to attend
the 40th anniversary celebrations of the Zanzibar Revolution. Meanwhile,
Morgan Tsvangirai, the leader of Zimbabwe's opposition Movement for
Democratic Change (MDC), is expected back from a visit to Zambia today.

Mugabe travelled to Dar-Es-Salaam just two days before his ruling Zanu(PF)
party is to announce candidates for primary elections to be held on
Saturday. Mugabe faced protesters in Harare in a second round of
demonstrations this week when angry party members accused their leaders of
imposing candidates on the electorate.

In a partial step-down, the 81-year-old leader vowed no one would be imposed
on Zanu(PF) supporters, but reiterated that candidates who faced
disciplinary charges within the party would not be allowed to contest. A
final list of candidates for the March poll is expected on Friday, though
the ruling party remains deeply divided over the issue of allocating a third
of all places to women.

Meanwhile, Tsvangirai was apparently invited to Lusaka to brief Levy
Mwanawasa, the Zambian president, on developments in Zimbabwe. The MDC
leader was expected to express concerns over Zimbabwe's slow implementation
of Southern African Development Community (SADC) norms and principles on
elections, ahead of parliamentary polls expected in March.

The MDC has said it will boycott the elections unless the norms are put in
place and the Zanu(PF) government repeals harsh press and public order laws,
which prevent free and fair elections taking place. Priscilla
Misihairabwi-Mushonga, the MDC foreign affairs spokesperson, said
Tsvangirai's visit is similar to visits he had made to several European and
African countries in recent months.

Tsvangirai was prevented from travelling abroad by the Zimbabwean government
until he was acquitted of treason charges by the High Court last November.
"He's on a normal trip to meet a head of state, just as he did when he met
Mbeki in South Africa and Mogae in Botswana," said Misihairabwi-Mushonga.

"He has updated African leaders on the issue around the SADC principles and
compliance by the Zimbabwe regime." - Sapa
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Cape Argus

      Rising prices fuel Zim hunger
      January 12, 2005

      By Peta Thornycroft

      Zimbabweans are hungrier than ever and the situation is deteriorating
fast as basic food prices escalate and mealie meal disappears from
supermarket shelves.

      Early predictions for this season's maize crop are that it will be the
smallest in decades.

      The Famine Early Warning Systems Network (Fewsnet) said last week the
situation had developed into an "emergency", but some of its information has
already been overtaken by sudden increases in the cost of basic food and a
widespread shortage of maize meal.

      Next week the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organisation is
expected to complete its national crop assessment and early indications are
that agricultural production could turn out to be a disaster in a season of
almost average rainfall.

      Agriculture minister Joseph Made said yesterday the figures for this
season's maize crop had not been released "as we are not yet finished late
planting for the second part of the season".

      Inflation on food prices was at 143% in November, according to
Fewsnet. Between December 22 and January 10, the price of mealie meal, when
available, increased by nearly 50% on a 10kg bag in a national supermarket
chain. The price of meat increased by more than 10% in the same period, and
milk now costs about R8.50 a litre.

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Mugabe gives banned candidates another chance
          January 12 2005 at 10:42AM

      Harare - Zimbabwe's President Robert Mugabe backtracked over the
controversial banning of some ruling party candidates in primary elections
set for Saturday.

      Demonstrators from the ruling Zanu-PF party held an unprecedented
second demonstration outside party headquarters, protesting against the
imposition of candidates.

      Primary elections are being held within Zimbabwe's political parties
ahead of parliamentary polls set for March.

      The Zanu-PF political commissar announced last week that several seats
have been reserved for women and male candidates are not allowed to stand.
Among those affected was information minister Jonathan Moyo who is appealing
against his banning.

      Mugabe told the Zanu-PF protesters: "Zanu-PF is a democratic party
where everyone's wishes are respected. It is up to you to select
candidates... capable of leading you because the party is no longer going to
impose candidates on you."

       Still, the move by Mugabe, 81, may not help a number of would-be

      "Those members of the party who have disciplinary cases against them
are not eligible for elections. We are not going to change the date for the
elections. All primaries will take place on January 15," Mugabe said.

      While details of Zanu-PF's disciplinary procedures remain secret, it
is known that several hopefuls have recently fallen from Mugabe's favour.
Among them is Moyo who organised an unauthorised meeting in Matabeleland.

      Also out of the running is reputed Mugabe relative and MP for
Chinhoyi, Phillip Chiyangwa, who is in prison awaiting trial for espionage.

      The self-appointed leader of the violent farm invasions, Joseph
Chinotimba, linked to the Matabeleland meeting, could also be out of the
running. - Sapa

          .. This article was originally published on page 2 of Cape Times
on January 12, 2005

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Daily Mirror, Zimbabwe

Suspended MDC councillors appeal to national executive

From Our Bulawayo Correspondent
issue date :2005-Jan-12

TWO MDC Bulawayo councillors suspended for alleged disrespecting the party's
provincial leadership and also belittling city mayor, Japhet Ndabeni Ncube,
want their disciplinary hearing to be handled by the opposition's national
executive, instead of the provincial leadership.
Alderman Charles Mpofu and councillor Stars Mathe-Thebe, suspended last
year, told The Daily Mirror yesterday that they have since written to the
MDC national disciplinary committee requesting it to hear their case,
because the provincial leadership was biased.
MDC vice president Gibson Sibanda chairs the national disciplinary
"We filed our papers opposing the proposed expulsion from the party.The
Bulawayo provincial executive had a predetermined conclusion even before
they heard our case. They had already made a resolution that we should be
expelled from the party and that is what we are challenging in our appeal to
the national disciplinary committee," Mpofu said.
Mpofu and Mathe-Thebe in their appeal said their suspension was not
procedural and fraught with inadequacies.
The councillors said even if their case was to be thrown out by the national
disciplinary committee, they would appeal to the party's highest decision
making body, the national council - chaired by MDC president Morgan
Mpofu said the suspensions arose after they challenged the manner in which
council affairs were being run.
He said numerous efforts to expel him and Mathe-Thebe from the council and
the opposition party hit a snag.
Efforts to get a comment from MDC Bulawayo provincial disciplinary committee
chairperson and also legislator for Mpopoma, Melfort Gwetu were fruitless
last night, while party national spokesperson Paul Nyathi said he was yet to
be appraised on the matter.
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Daily Mirror, Zimbabwe

Government tightens screws on local authorities

The Daily Mirror Reporter
issue date :2005-Jan-12

THE government intends to increase supervision of local authorities this
year, despite resistance by some urban councils to persistent intervention
in their day-to-day activities.
The Minister of Local Government, Public Works and National Housing,
Ignatius Chombo said this in his ministry's report on activities of local
authorities in 2004 and plans for 2005 made public yesterday.
"Plans for 2005 include the increased supervision of local authorities, both
rural and urban, by sub-national structures of the ministry and by the
provincial governor or resident minister," Chombo said.
He added that some of the highlights in local governance last year include
the establishment of metropolitan provinces in Harare and Bulawayo, with
subsequent appointments of Witness Mangwende and Cain Mathema as governors
for the respective provinces.
"Some of the major highlights in 2004 include the establishment of
metropolitan provinces and resident ministers. The main reason was to make
sure that urban people get access to other government programmes like BEAM
(Basic Education Assistance Module), food for work and other social
programmes," he added.
Government established BEAM to help vulnerable children with school fees.
The opposition MDC and other civic groups have castigated Chombo for
interfering in the affairs of local authorities and have cited this as the
major reason for the decline in service delivery, especially in Harare.
The government fired Harare elected mayor, Engineer Elias Mudzuri of the MDC
last year, on charges of incompetence, while 19 councillors from the main
opposition were fired for allegedly challenging the minister.
Chombo also sent Chegutu mayor Francis Dhlakama packing for two months,
before he clashed with Bulawayo executive mayor, Japhet Ndabeni Ncube after
the city father claimed that children in the City of Kings were dying of
Chombo defended government's involvement in the affairs of local
authorities, saying they were not autonomous bodies, but an extension of the
central government and had to implement policies of the party in power.
On other activities slated for this year, Chombo said government would
finalise the upgrading of Chinhoyi Municipality to city status and the
transfer of Harare water supply management from the council to the Zimbabwe
National Water Authority (ZINWA).
Meanwhile, troubled Zimbabwe United Passenger Company (Zupco) yesterday
received 40 buses sourced from Kenya to be distributed countrywide.
Acting Zupco chief executive officer, George Chigora, said the northern area
of the country, including Harare, Mutare, Bindura and Kadoma, among other
towns, would receive 27 buses, while the Southern area will get 13.
The government is currently negotiating with the Chinese for the acquisition
of additional buses, while 250 more buses were expected to arrive in the
country soon.
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Daily Mirror, Zimbabwe

Farmers blast Met Office over forecasts

From Our Correspondent in Bulawayo
issue date :2005-Jan-12

FARMERS in Matabeleland have blasted the Meteorological Department for
misleading them in their weather forecasts that the 2004/2005 farming season
would receive normal rainsfall.
Early last August, the department predicted that the country would receive
normal rainfall, an apparent miscalculation, prompting farmers to prepare
fully for the season.
However, the persistent dry conditions prevailing across the country have
severely affected early-planted crops.
Irate farmers in parts of the parched province said yesterday that the Met
Office's forecasts were not farmer-friendly but pleasing only to tourists.
"Why not advise farmers in the same passionate way they remind holiday
makers and travellers to wear warm clothes for possible (change in)
temperatures.  We want the department to be revamped so that it can be
farmer-friendly," said Jacob Mguni, a newly resettled farmer in Bubi.
Most parts of the country badly need rain, not only to save the wilting
crops, but also to lower soil moisture reserves and fill up dams.
Most farmers were forced to replant a couple of times this season in a bid
to remain in business.
Efforts to get comment from Met officials proved fruitless at the time of
going to print.
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Daily Mirror, Zimbabwe

Muchinguri lashes out at Zanu PF male bigotry

From Netsai Kembo
issue date :2005-Jan-12

ZANU PF Women's League linchpin Oppah Muchinguri has reiterated their desire
to see the ruling party strictly adhere to the resolution to reserve a third
of the country's 120 constituencies for women.
Addressing thousands of party supporters in Mutare on Saturday, Muchinguri
emphasised the need for all provinces to reserve a third of their
constituencies for women in line with party policy adopted
at the national congress in Harare last December.
She castigated male senior party members for allegedly endearing themselves
to the electorate through bribery.
"We are never demanding for too much as women, but only our share of a third
of the seats as agreed.
"Now the problem we are faced with is that of some male aspirants who,
instead of supporting the decision, are busy de-campaigning female
candidates. The same people are even splashing money to win the electorate's
hearts ahead of their female counterparts," charged Muchinguri.
Her remarks came in the wake of reported resistance by some constituencies
in Manicaland to observe the resolution.
Manicaland province has 15 constituencies, of which five - Mutasa South,
Mutare South, Chipinge North, Mutare North and Makoni East - have already
been ceded to women.
At the centre of controversy is Mutare South where party supporters have
ignored a directive to have a female candidate and instead preferred any
suitable candidate, regardless of sex.
The unanimous decision was reached at a meeting at Ruwa Training Centre just
outside Harare last Thursday. The meeting deliberated on the calibre of
short-listed candidates.
Zanu PF national consultative assembly member, Gideon Chiri who attended the
meeting, confirmed the electorate in Mutare South had disowned the party's
"Party supporters had turned down the proposal to have a candidate on
grounds of sex. All that they want is a suitable candidate, regardless of
sex," explained Chiri.
Comment could not be obtained
from acting provincial chairman, Shadreck Chipanga. The provincial executive
without a secretary for information and publicity following Stanley Shamido's
recent elevation to the Central Committee.
Ellen Gwaradzimba-Munyoro and Irene Dube were initially nominated for the
constituency ahead of provincial deputy youth chairman, Freddy Kanzama.
Kanzama had for long been eyeing the constituency against former provincial
chairman, Mike Madiro, who was recently suspended for participating in the
unsanctioned Tsholotsho indaba organised                to scuttle the
nomination of Vice-President Joyce Mujuru allegedly at the behest of
embattled Information and Publicity Minister Jonathan Moyo.
Two other constituencies faced with the same predicament are Chipinge North,
where party supporters are reportedly shunning a female candidate on
cultural grounds, and Mutare North, where a local business
tycoon and central committee member was said to be frantically lobbying
party leaders to give him the go ahead to participate in the polls.
Chipinge North, Mutare South and Mutare North are under MDC legislators,
Mateo Mlambo, Sydney Mukwecheni and Giles Mutsekwa. Zanu PF national
political commissar, Elliot Manyika recently re-affirmed the party's
commitment to reserve a third of the 120 parliamentary seats for women "as a
matter of principle"..
Said Manyika to this newspaper when asked whether the party would ever
reverse its decision on reserving seats for women: "We don't have any
reasons for that, we want to deal with matters of principle and we are
against male chauvinism."
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Daily Mirror, Zimbabwe

Paradza's problems mount

The Daily Mirror Reporter
issue date :2005-Jan-12

ZANU PF legislator for Makonde Kindness Paradza's problems continue to mount
after Mashonaland West members of the central committee decided to allocate
his seat to women, instead of the Chinhoyi seat previously reserved for them
by the provincial co-ordinating committee on January 2.
 The meeting to allocate Makonde constituency to women - in line with the
ruling party's recently introduced quota system to empower females -  was
held in Harare on Sunday.
Paradza was elected into Parliament in October 2003 and was expected to
battle it out with Leo Mugabe and Douglas Mombeshora in the party's
primaries set for Saturday.
The decision to swap the constituencies for women was reached after it was
allegedly decided that Chinhoyi was not "safe" due to the influence of the
Acting Mashonaland West provincial chairman, John Mafa confirmed the
decision to reserve the Makonde seat for women.
"We realised that Chinhoyi is the provincial capital and as such every party
member, male or female, should have a chance to run for it in the March
election if chosen by the people. We did not arrive at the decision because
we are afraid of the opposition, but just to give everyone a chance to stand
for that important seat," Mafa said.
Paradza has since appealed against the decision. In his letter to Elliot
Manyika, the party's political commissar and also chairman of Zanu PF's
national election directorate, he said the decision was illegal because it
was reached without the involvement of the Mashonaland West PCC, which act
as the provincial election directorate.
 Paradza wrote: "On January 2, the Mashonaland West provincial elections
directorate resolved to set aside Chinhoyi, Kariba, Manyame and Zvimba South
constituencies for women as per our prevailing party rules."
 "However, we are surprised to hear that on Sunday, without the knowledge of
the Mash West elections directorate, members of the central committee (in
the province) met in Harare and decided that Makonde constituency should be
the one to be reserved for women instead of Chinhoyi simply because it was a
'safe' seat."
If Sunday's decision is upheld, it will open up chances for Chinhoyi
businessman Faber Chadirikire who is also eyeing the same seat.
Incumbent MP Phillip Chiyangwa is currently in remand prison on espionage
allegations and seems to be out of the race.
Since Paradza's election into the august House, his tenure had been under
threat after Mashonaland West suspended him for allegedly undermining the
party's leadership among other charges.
Paradza's fate is not yet clear with conflicting reports about his
suspension emanating from the province. Last month, Paradza was arrested for
allegedly fanning violence in the constituency.
He was accused of mobilising his supporters to attack his rival Mugabe's
youths. He appeared in court and was released on free bail.
Harare City Council commissioner and central committee member Priscilla
Mupfumira had initially been unanimously selected to stand for Chinhoyi on
the ruling party's ticket.
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Mugabe laws make Zimbabwe a pariah -opposition
      12 Jan 2005 12:20:39 GMT

      Source: Reuters

By Shapi Shacinda

LUSAKA, Jan 12 (Reuters) - Zimbabwe is treated like a pariah state because
of President Robert Mugabe's mismanagement of the economy and repressive
security laws, opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai said during a regional

Regional leaders were urging Tsvangirai's party, the Movement for Democratic
Change (MDC), to run in parliamentary elections scheduled for March, he

The MDC is yet to decide whether it will contest the poll, saying the
political playing field was not level.

"Our country is now being treated like a pariah state because of some bad
laws which the government has enacted. We have to change some of the laws,"
Tsvangirai told a public forum in Zambia on Tuesday night during a stop on a
regional tour.

Zimbabwe's ruling ZANU-PF party accuses the MDC of working to undermine the
government's image and sabotage the economy.

Security laws that prohibit more than three people from meeting without a
police sanction prevent the opposition mobilising, Tsvangirai said.

The government also used a law requiring journalists to obtain a licence to
similar effect, he said.

The MDC's priority remained fixing a sick economy, he said.

That would include revamping health and education and privatising a host of
state-owned businesses. But the MDC would retain state control of power,
water utilities and the railway as assets strategic for development, he

"There has to be more investments in the health delivery system to prevent
HIV infections, malaria, tuberculosis and we will also provide skills
training for those people who cannot go to the university," Tsvangirai said.

One in five Zimbabweans has HIV, the virus that causes AIDS.

Tsvangirai was in Zambia for talks with President Levy Mwanawasa on the
March elections and presidential polls in 2008 when Mugabe is expected to
retire from office.

The MDC accuses ZANU-PF party of rigging parliamentary elections in 2000 and
2002 presidential polls.

Mugabe, in power since independence from Britain in 1980, denies
manipulating elections and says a campaign by Britain and political
opponents has sabotaged the economy.
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Independent Publication Threatened With Closure

Media Institute of Southern Africa (Windhoek)

January 12, 2005
Posted to the web January 12, 2005

The government-controlled Media and Information Commission (MIC) has
threatened the recently launched independent publication "Weekly Times" that
it risks imminent closure for allegedly misleading the commission on the
thrust of its editorial policy.

The "Weekly Times", which is published in Bulawayo by Mthwakazi Publishing
House, hit the streets for the first time on 2 January 2005.

In a 5 January letter addressed to the paper's chief executive, Godfrey
Ncube, MIC Executive Chairman Tafataona Mahoso notified the publishing
company that it risked having its licence suspended or cancelled.

According to Mahoso, the publishing company told the MIC that the "Weekly
Times" aimed to "inform, educate, spearhead development in the country and
uphold the rules of fairness, impartial reporting, honesty and integrity."

The MIC, however, now suspects that the publisher misled the commission upon
observing that the paper is not a "general news vehicle" as had been pledged
in its application papers, Mahoso said.

"It is a running political commentary through and through. The paper makes
no attempt at impartial reporting," Mahoso stated in his letter, a copy of
which was obtained by MISA-Zimbabwe.

Mahoso was apparently irked by the weekly's lead story in which it
interviewed Archbishop Pius Ncube, an arch-critic of President Robert

In the interview, the outspoken Catholic cleric accused President Mugabe of
allegedly remaining "unrepentant" following the army's alleged massacre of
innocent civilians in Matabeleland during the early 1980s dissident
insurgency. Mahoso said the story represented a "clear sectarian view" of
Zimbabwe's president.

It is for this reason, among others, that the commission intends to suspend
or cancel the paper's registration certificate in accordance with Section 71
(a) of the draconian Access to Information and Protection of Privacy Act

The threat against the newspaper is widely viewed as part of the
government's onslaught against the independent media ahead of parliamentary
elections slated for March.

Mahoso gave the publishing company seven days within which to show cause why
its publishing licence should not be suspended or cancelled.

Kucaca Phulu, who is representing Mthwakazi Publishing House, told
MISA-Zimbabwe that they were looking into the case and were expected to be
in a position to shed light on what course of action to take by 10 January.


The recent events come on the back of the government's banning of the
privately-owned "The Daily News" and "Daily News on Sunday" in September
2003 (see IFEX alerts of 22 September, 14 June, 11 and 6 February, 23, 22,
16, 13 and 12 January 2004, and others), which was followed by that of "The
Tribune" in June 2004 (see alerts of 15 and 10 June 2004).

Under Section 71(1) (a), the MIC has powers to suspend or cancel a licence
if it has reasonable grounds for believing that:

"The registration certificate was issued in error or through fraud or there
has been a misrepresentation or non-disclosure of a material fact by the
mass media concerned."


For a copy of the MIC's letter to the newspaper or for further information,
contact Zoé Titus, Programme Manager, Media Freedom Monitoring, MISA,
Private Bag 13386 Windhoek, Namibia, tel: +264 61 232 975, fax: +264 61 248
016, e-mail:, Internet:
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New Zimbabwe

Thatcher strikes deal to avoid jail over coup plot

By Jenny Booth, Times Online
Last updated: 01/13/2005 05:19:14
SIR Mark Thatcher has struck a deal with the South African authorities to
plead guilty to bankrolling a coup plot in Equatorial Guinea in return for
lenient sentence, according to legal sources in Cape Town.

The son of the former British Prime Minister has agreed to plead guilty to
breaching South Africa's strict anti-mercenary laws, but will claim that it
was an unwitting, technical breach and that he did not know the details of
the plot.

He will receive a five-year suspended jail sentence and a fine of £275,000
(three million Rand) when he appears in court tomorrow for an unscheduled
court appearance, legal sources told Jonathan Clayton, The Times
Correspondent in Cape Town.

Baroness Thatcher flew out to South Africa to spend Christmas with her son
and is believed still to be there. It is not known if she had a hand in the
deal, which is apparently still being finalised.

Under the terms of the plea bargain Sir Mark will be allowed to leave South
Africa once he has paid his fine, enabling him to avoid extradition to
Equatorial Guinea to face charges.

Prosecutors in Equatorial Guinea have said that they want to extradite Sir
Mark and 19 other mainly British defendants, some of them prominent
businessmen, who, they claim, were involved in the plot.

Sir Mark was due to stand trial in South Africa on April 8. His next
scheduled appearance in court was not due until February 18, when he was
expected to answer questions under oath submitted by Equatorial Guinea

Sipho Ngwema, spokesman for the national prosecuting authority, refused to
disclose the reason for the hearing tomorrow, and Sir Mark's lawyers could
not immediately be reached for comment.

Sir Mark has remained cooped in his luxurious home in a wealthy suburb of
Cape Town since he was arrested last August, and charged with financing the
plot to topple President Teodore Obiang in the oil-rich west African country
of Equatorial Guinea.

His wife, Diane, and their two children, have left the country but Sir
Mark's passport has been confiscated and he is unable to leave. He is on
£167,000 bail, paid by his mother.

South Africa's elite Scorpions police unit, which carried out the arrest,
claimed at the time that Sir Mark's bags were packed and his £2 million
house was on the market when they swooped.

The raid followed the arrest in Zimbabwe in March of Simon Mann, a close
friend and neighbour of Sir Mark, and a troop of mercenary soldiers. Mann
was convicted of attempting to buy weapons from the Zimbabwean state arms
company in order to carry out the coup in Equatorial Guinea.

Sir Mark's alleged role was to have been in financing the coup. He has until
now consistently denied the charges, but in a plaintive interview in Vanity
Fair last November he complained that they had "destroyed his life", adding
that he was only glad that his father, the late Sir Denis Thatcher, was no
longer alive to see it.

It is understood that Sir Mark will admit unwittingly financing the coup by
paying for air ambulance services used by the mercenaries.

Sir Mark had faced charges of paying for a helicopter that would ferry
Severo Moto, the exiled Equatorial Guinea opposition leader, back to his
country to assume power once President Obiang was overthrown.

Crause Steyl, a pilot also involved in the plot, struck a deal with the
South African justice authorities last year by which he would testify that
Sir Mark had paid him £145,000 to fly the helicopter to the Guinean capital,

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Global Politician

EXPERT INTERVIEW: Jan Lamprecht Explains African Political Crises


By Ryan Mauro

Jan Lamprecht was born and raised in Zimbabwe during the bush war, which resulted in Robert Mugabe coming to power. He was educated in Harare, the capital of the country, before leaving for South Africa, where he spent some time in the Navy. He wrote a book called "Government by deception" about African politics related to Zimbabwe and the effects Mugabe's policies may have on other countries.

RM: Mr. Lamprecht, first off, explain why Americans concerned about national security should care about Africa. Is there any strategic importance?

JL: Well, the Russians seemed to think Africa had tremendous strategic value because of (a) Its vast mineral riches (b) The Cape Sea Route - which to this day carries the sea-going vessels which can't pass through the Suez Canal - so super-tankers containing oil ply the routes around South Africa - along with much other traffic.

The Russians once boasted that by controlling the Middle East Oil and Southern African's Minerals they would defeat the West. Southern Africa, apart from Botswana is now ruled by their Puppets like the ANC.

In recent years a lot of Oil is also being discovered in both West and East Africa. I was told by a geologist that there may be oil fields the size of the North Sea off the coast of Namibia. So as we discover even more minerals and oil in Africa... its importance to the West should increase.

The USA is also now realizing that Africa (because parts of it has Muslims), could become a major breeding ground for even more Al-Qaeda terrorism.

The USA has been training armies in Africa to help in its war on terror. My suspicion is that like the Iraqi Militia, these "African Armies" will be less than useless in helping the USA. I suspect that the African Armies will do very little to actually help the USA in the war on terrorism.

RM: You've read Robert Mugabe's book, who is the anti-American dictator of Zimbabwe. According to his book, what are his plans for Africa?

JL: The future Africa he describes is a very racist one. He is only interested in Black people and their future. Mugabe wants Africa as a whole (which is larger than the USA and China put together), to be a Military Power. He wants a united (black) Africa which (a) Gets aid from the Western world (b) Tells the Western world where to "get off". He wants blacks as a whole to be united, while getting rid of all "vestiges of colonialism" (which means white people and their institutions). Mugabe hates not only the USA but the Western world as a whole. He wants to see Africa Militarily and politically united.

RM: Libya is disarming. They've cut off contact with terrorists, helped us reveal the network of AQ Khan, and cut off military trade with rogue states. They are pledging sweeping reforms. Do you feel that Gadhafi has genuinely understood that he has more security by being pro-American than anti-American?

JL: No. I have some military contacts in the Middle East. They tell me the real reason Gadhafi did this was because he was secretly co-operating with Iran, Egypt and others on working on a nuclear bomb (for attacking Israel)... But when the Americans discovered his nuclear program he decided to come clean rather than face being wiped out as Saddam was. Apparently Egypt and the other Arabs in on the secret are fuming mad at Gadhafi for being a tattle tale. Gadhafi helped train the terrorists who now run South Africa, Zimbabwe, etc. He is firmly an enemy of the West, but he realized in this case, if he continues to anger the USA... they might put him out of commission.

This is proof that terror works very effectively against terrorists.

RM: What is the significance of the growth of radical Islam in South Africa?

JL: I am told that in the Koran, it actually says that black people can't be Muslims [ed. This is according to some very strict interpretations]. Nevertheless, in parts of Africa (not all of Africa), Islam is spreading like wild fire. In Nigeria there is tremendous Black Christian Vs Black Muslim strife which has killed thousands in recent years. In South Africa we have more than a million Indians (from India), and colored people. This is where Islam is spreading the most. The ANC and the South African Communists are firmly on the side of the radical Muslims. They want to destroy Israel. The South African government stands firmly on the side of Israel's enemies. They are also firmly on the side of the radical Muslims and terrorists. It has been rumored that we have helped to train Islamic terrorists here, but I've come across no firm proof yet.

RM: Are you concerned about the rumors that South Africa never fully disarmed, and that nuclear components, and chemical/biological weapons may be in dangerous hands? Or is this paranoia?

JL: No not at all. I believe this is merely a rumor. As silly as De Klerk was in handing over to the ANC, I can't imagine even him handing them our nuclear weapons. We apparently had 6 nuclear bombs. De Klerk says all these were disarmed and destroyed and international monitors actually saw proof of the process.

I am not sure what the status of chemical/biological weapons is. My understanding is that these things can be created easily. So if we created them before, then theoretically we could make them again any time we want.

RM: Some have speculated that Egypt, due to the growth of radical Islam, has decided to use the Saudi tactic to fight terrorism--bribe them into not attacking them. Is there any reason to believe these accusations?

JL: My Middle East sources inform me that Egypt and even Saudi Arabia are actually on the side of the radical terrorists. I am told that Egypt is working hard to help the Palestinians. Among the things I was told is that Egypt has been working, in a very cunning manner, to prepare for a future attack on Israel. Not long ago I read a fascinating book on military deception which described in detail how excellently, and with tremendous forethought, the Egyptians planned a surprise attack on Israel in the 1973 October war. The Egyptians caught even the Israelis off guard. My military sources inform me, that there are new, even more amazing preparations. Apparently, the Egyptians have been digging huge tunnels under the Suez Canal through which Tanks, etc can go. Currently, in Gaza the terrorists are being supplied with Russian weaponry from tunnels. I am trying to get more details on this process. The Egyptians have also been very friendly with the Russians, and it appears Russian weaponry is reaching Gaza ....

Note too, how modern advanced Russian weaponry was responsible for shooting down many US helicopters in Iraq. The Russians are fully supplying all the terrorist weaponry. Funny that nobody notices this?

RM: What is causing the growth of radical Islam in Africa and where is it the most dangerous?

JL: I'm told that radical Islam provides a stronger moral base than "wishy washy Christianity". I don't think radical Islam is a factor in South Africa. Some think so. I do not. Blacks, en masse, are not falling for Islam. They are however WILLING ALLIES of radical Islam because the Russians are behind Radical Islam just as they were behind Black Liberation. Hence all terrorists are really ideological allies since they (a) Have Russia and China as friends (b) Hate the West and the USA.

The situation of Israel today is not unlike Apartheid/Colonial Africa. The same people who caused so much trouble in Africa are hard at work causing that same trouble in the Middle East. The Russians said they would control the Middle East Oil and Southern Africa's minerals. They're got the minerals... now they need to get the oil...

RM: What countries in Africa appear to be US allies and which ones are definitely have the anti-American agenda?

JL: Uganda and Botswana seem to be the firmest US Allies. The ones who hate the USA the most (but may at times hide it) are: South Africa, Namibia, Zimbabwe, Mozambique and Angola. There is a move by Mugabe, which will include South Africa and Namibia - to spread this anti-US hatred to the rest of Africa. With South Africa's tremendous political muscle... in Africa... this could happen. It may take some time. The ANC has to tread warily...

RM: Is Algeria making progress in their War on Terror, particularly in fighting the rebel forces?

JL: I can't answer this. But I will say this: I think the USA's emphasis on training African forces to help in the war on terror will largely turn out to be money wasted. Just as the USA wasted $1 billion training the Iraqi Police and Militia, so too, do I believe, the Africans will quietly wimp out and feign stupidity and leave any terrorists in Africa to grow and strengthen and to operate from here. I also read that Middle East terrorists are busy in Columbia/Brazil, etc building huge organized crime syndicates and sending tens of millions of dollars to their pals in the Middle East to fight Israel and the USA.

I feel the war on terror is going badly. I would not be surprised if a terrorist incident(s) bigger than 9/11 were to occur on US soil in the future. I think the USA is applying the wrong tactics completely, and this war is far from over. I think many thousands of American soldiers and civilians will yet die... and this could even grow into a much bigger conflict. I think the USA will have to patrol the entire planet in an effort to curb these terrorists... and the terrorists will be everywhere.

Ryan Mauro has been a geopolitical analyst for Tactical Defense Concepts (, a maritime-associated security company, since 2002. In 2003, Mr. Mauro joined the Northeast Intelligence Network (, which specializes in tracking and assessing terrorist threats. He has been published in,,,,, and in the Turkistan Newsletter (Turkistan Bulteni). He is a frequent writer for as well. He has appeared on radio shows including The Al Rantel Show, WIBG Radio, WorldNetDaily Radioactive with Joseph Farah, Jeff Nyquist Program, Kevin McCullough Show, Laurie Roth Show, Tovia Singer Show, Stan Major Show, and Preparedness Now. His book "Death to America: The Unreported Battle of Iraq" is scheduled to be published in the coming months. He publishes his own web site called World Threats. Mr. Mauro may be reached at

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New Zimbabwe

Zanu PF factions fight pitched battles in Gokwe

By Staff Reporter
Last updated: 01/13/2005 02:15:22
ZIMBABWEAN police have reported yet another clash between rival groups
within the country's ruling Zimbabwe African National Union-Patriotic Front
party (Zanu-PF).

Police in the remote, central district of Gokwe say two groups of angry
supporters -- each backing different contestants in primary elections -- 
clashed at a small rural business centre "damaging a lot of property".

One group was allegedly supporting the current Member of Parliament for the
district, Lovemore Mupukuta, while the other group supported aspiring
candidate Shadrek Sayi.

Police spokesperson Wayne Bvudzijena confirmed the incident.

"One of the candidates reported the matter to the police after his Mazda
pick-up had been stoned," he said.

One arrest had been made, police confirmed, adding that investigations were
still under way.

The clash is the third between rival groups of Zanu-PF supporters in recent
months. In December, Zanu-PF lawmaker for the rural district of Makonde,
Kindness Paradza, was arrested for inciting public violence.

Meanwhile, ruling party supporters have staged two demonstrations against
their leaders in Harare in the last week.

A demonstration on Monday forced President Robert Mugabe, who was present,
to back down over the controversial issue of imposing candidates for Zanu-PF
primary elections set for 15 January. - Sapa-AFP

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Socialist Worker

Zimbabwe campaign launched

THE UK Zimbabwean Community Campaign to Defend Asylum Seekers took a
significant step forward when it met in London last Saturday to organise a
national demonstration against the deportation of asylum seekers.

The campaign came out of lively protests in December following the
government's decision to end its suspension of removals to Zimbabwe.

At the meeting, campaign chair Arthur Molife underlined the urgency of
organising a national demonstration. He added that a mass anti-deportation
demonstration led by Zimbabweans would highlight the hypocrisy of New Labour's
asylum policy and had the potential to receive substantial publicity. It
should also include the wider refugee community, who are equally affected.

The campaign is planning meetings across the country to start building for
the demonstration.

The Stop the Removals demonstration will be held on Saturday 29 January, 1pm
to 5pm outside the Home Office, Queen Anne's Gate, London.

For more information and transport details, e-mail: or phone: Arthur Molife (London) 07960
126 028
Emily Madamombe (Midlands) 07900 061 215
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            MDC encouraged in Zambia
            12/01/2005 14:23  - (SA)

            Lusaka - Zambian President Levy Mwanawasa on Tuesday met
Zimbabwean opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai who was encouraged to
participate in March polls in the Southern African country, an official said

            Tsvangirai, who leads the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC),
the main opposition to the government of President Robert Mugabe, arrived in
the Zambian capital on Monday, where he met ruling party members.

            "We have advised them not to boycott parliamentary elections in
Zimbabwe because it would weaken their position," said the official,
speaking on condition of anonymity.

            "We gave them an example of the Zambian situation when the
former ruling party boycotted the 1996 elections that led to their losing
influence in parliament as well as national politics," the official said.

            Pressure was mounting on the MDC to participate in parliamentary
polls in Zimbabwe set for March to challenge Mugabe's ruling Zimbabwe Africa
National Union - Patriotic Front (Zanu-PF) party.

            The MDC's secretay-general Welshman Ncube said last week the
party hierarchy will meet by the end of January, with a decision on its
participation in the polls expected by the first week of February.

            The party has vowed not to contest the watershed poll unless
Mugabe's government carries out major electoral reforms in line with other
countries in the 13-member Southern African Development Community (SADC).

            Before meeting Mwanawasa, Tsvangirai held private talks with the
country's biggest opposition party, the United Party for National
Development (UPND) where the leaders shared their concern for the lack of
good governance in African countries, an official said.

            "We also discussed issues to do with the lack of access to state
media by the opposition in both Zambia and Zimbabwe," said UPND spokesman
Patrick Chisanga.

            The Zimbabwean opposition leader later met representatives of
the country's umbrella Zambia Congress of Trade Unions (ZCTU) where issues
of governance was also discussed before meeting civil society groups.

            Tsvangirai was expected to leave Zambia on Wednesday. - AFP
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